Saturday, October 30, 2004

Story as Sacred Space

I gave a presentation on working with narrative with grieving families this week, and I was totally caught up and swept away with my enthusiasm for this growing landscape! I hope I made sense to everyone. The response was good--people were engaged, listening, asking questions, laughing at the right places. :) I felt, in our large seminar round-tabled room, that there was a sacred space in the middle where words, images, potentials, and loves were poured, and everyone brought (said or unsaid) their own understandings and stories, and it all mixed up nicely and produced something good. For the first time I talked about "story as sacred space" (this had never occurred to me before and wasn't in my notes but it just came out in that moment) and I heard how true that was of my deep belief in the possibility and potential of narrative (and of course in the connective ability and desire of the human spirit).

A good experience all around. I'll post my notes later...and keep stirring this idea. :)

Friday, October 22, 2004

An Amazingly Rich Use of Narrative on the Web

I was researching a paper I'm preparing on a narrative approach to addictions (through the lens of pastoral care), and I ran across a reference to Barbara Myerhoff, an anthropologist with a gift for "finding the sacred in the smallest details of everyday experience." If you're interested in seeing how stories expand and enrich our understanding--and how the web can be used to give us that deepening experience in real time--check out this profile at the Jewish Women's Archive:

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Changing and Growing

A lot of time has passed and I am changing the focus of this blog from a chronicle of my learning for my narrative therapy class to a general collection of information, discoveries, and application of narrative in my role as chaplain, mom, writer, student, whatever. Narrative is seeping into my pores (and maybe out of them!) these days--I seem to notice it everywhere I go. Fascinating, alive, breathing, organic, unlimited. Amazing.

My most recent and exciting narrative adventure included a trip to see Michael White present his idea of "scaffolding therapeutic conversations." Very well presented and inspiring. He captured my attention and imagination and appreciation from the first moments. His respect for others and tender compassion for those he serves is obvious in everything he does. Whether or not he calls it "spiritual," he is truly honoring the best, the highest good, of each person he meets.

Okay, enough gushing. But to understand the subtleties of this work and the delicate touch with which it is most effectively cradled, you may just have to go hear him sometime.